To be clear, this post isn’t an attack on Kate Brodock or any kind of negative opinion about specifics. I’m using these to point to something I’m curious about.
I knew that Kate Brodock was head of social media for Syracuse University, because she told me so at BlogWorld Expo in LA. So recently, when news broke that there was a bit of a potential scandal on the university’s hands,my girlfriend Jacqueline Carly asked me what Kate had said on the social media channel with regards to the issues at hand.
In looking at it, Kate retweeted a statement from the University Twitter feed, she posted a message from the university’s Chancellor, and then she answered my questions as to what one does at a time like this.
Then, on her own Twitter channel, she goes back to business as usual:
But Maybe the SyracuseU Twitter Account Has News
There’s a bit more here. More than on Kate’s account. but that got me wondering: what is a social media communicator’s duty in a crisis?
Oh, and in case you were thinking I didn’t think to check the Facebook account:
So what do you think should happen here? What’s the role of a social media communications team during a crisis situation like alleged sex abuse scandals? What do you think is an appropriate amount of content about a story that obviously has national attention right now versus the “go back to business as usual” approach?
I don’t have an answer. I have a thought on the matter. I think that I’ve observed many organizations during their crisis moments go fairly darned silent on their social media channels. Syracuse at least put up a few statements, so I’ll grant them that. Other companies and associations have remained dead silent during potential negative impression moments. I’ve seen the opposite too: great communication from really dedicated professional communicators seeking to be up front and seeking to answer all and any questions.
I imagine there are strategies to both sides of this.
What do you think? If you were in this situation (or have been), what’s your play?